Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Friends from Columbus

This past weekend we had company come visit.  One of Jeremy’s housemates from his single days came.  But not alone!  Mike brought his wife and three kids along!  When we lived in Columbus, Mike and Anja were friends of ours, and I really enjoyed the opportunities we had to hang out.  They were married about 8 months after we were and had their first child about a year after we had Madison.  Since moving, we have not seen them nearly as much.  Jeremy still tries to stop and visit when he goes to Columbus for work.  Once, we met Mike and two of the kids at the zoo one time when we took the girls, but otherwise, neither of us has tried the whole family visit thing. 

This was a pleasant first try.  Mike, Anja, Sasha, Beckett, and Teddy arrived late afternoon on Saturday.  Madison and Ellie were elated!  The kids hit it off right away; it was really neat to see.  We took them to the local Fall Fest at the park.  There was a hot dog roast, s’mores, pumpkin decorating, BINGO, corn hole, and of course, the park.  It was a relaxing and enjoyable way to spend a beautiful fall evening. 

IMG_1889      IMG_1888IMG_1893

Sasha decided she would like to have a sleepover – her first – in the girls’ room.  It was a success… until 6am when they all woke up… way too early for me.  We managed to get breakfast, showers, dressed, and to church ON TIME!  I don’t know how it goes in your household, but this is a feat when it is just the four of us.  Somehow, we just get a little distracted – playing, reading the paper, relaxing… and then it is suddenly rush, rush, rush to get showers done and clothes on and out the door.  So, I was impressed when all NINE of us made it to church and in our seats before the service started!

After church, Gloria joined us for lunch (shredded chicken sandwiches, salad, chips, and fruit).  The kids played more inside and outside.  Content, with basically no supervision.  We decided to take them to Secrest Arboretum to the big slide to play as they left town.  It made for a late departure for them, but the kids had a blast.  I have no idea how their little legs carried them so many times up the hill to do the slide again and again and again.  I am pretty sure it was at a minimum 20 times on the slide.  We just sat and took it in. 

IMG_1899

Huge-Slide-Built-Into-a-Hill-Secrest-Arboretum  Outdoor-Natual-Playground-Secrest-Arboretum-Wooster-Ohio

The weekend felt like a mini vacation for me even though we were still in our own home.  It was refreshing and the weather was perfect.  I am thankful for times to renew old friendships.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Running and Fun Stuff

Ellie wanted to run all the way to MCC Connections to go visit Grandpa about two weeks ago.  I doubted her stamina after the other week when she biked there and needed multiple breaks.  I told her she could run from Quince, and I would take the stroller just in case.  She got dressed in her running gear, hopped in the car, and jumped right back out to start.  She was off and running.  I followed behind alternating between walking and jogging.  She moved at a pretty good clip and kept it up…. all the way there!

IMG_1731

After some water and a cookie at MCC, we headed back home.  Her goal was to make it home as well.  She almost did, but took advantage of a few short spurts in the stroller to make it there.  It was pretty amazing to watch her little body go.  I was pretty proud of her.

She wanted to attempt this again the following week, but was not quite as gung-ho to start out.  That lead to a lot more walking, slow running, and stroller riding.  I was fine with that.  You can definitely see the difference when someone’s heart isn’t into what they are doing!

IMG_1826

The girls and I headed out to MCC because Ellie had seen a large stuffed horse she really wanted for $2.  I refused to buy her more stuffed animals (I mean, we are already bursting at the seams!), but I said she could see if she had money at home.  She did.  Madison checked for her own money to bring in case she found a treasure as well.  Of course she did find a treasure – a bag of trinkets and a small stuffed toy.  From there we went to World Crafts and then to Lehman’s.  We were pleasantly surprised that it was the fall fun day at Lehman’s.  So, we indulged in the fun – face painting (Ellie got a butterfly and Madison chose a dolphin), listening to Honeytown band, sampling jellies, a corn box, and horse riding.  It was, as always, well done and fun. 

IMG_1831  IMG_1836  IMG_1837IMG_1839    IMG_1841    IMG_1842

Preschool Helper – On the second day of preschool, I was the helper, which meant we brought a snack and Ellie led some activities with Mrs. McGinty.  Ellie chose to bring in oreos and cheese cubes with milk.  She was very excited to be up front and choose what the weather bear wore and do the calendar.  She did a good job standing in front of others. 

IMG_1725   IMG_1727   IMG_1729

!st Grade Cheerleader – Madison did this last year and wanted to do it again.  It made our lives super hectic for one week because she had practice from 4-6pm for three days in a row.  Because I am coaching volleyball, we have not done any other activities for the girls this fall – no dance, gymnastics, swimming, etc  We figured we could at least let her do cheerleading.  She had a blast on Friday night during the first quarter of the game.  She also seemed to have more confidence this year than last.  She wasn’t necessarily better at getting all the motions on her cheers, but she tried and fit right in with the other first grade cheerleaders.

IMG_1868     IMG_1875IMG_1872     IMG_1873

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Fair Week

Our county fair was this week.  While I did not grow up taking animals to the fair – that time you live and breathe all things fair – Jeremy did.  He looks forward to the fair for two reasons (I think): 1) it is a little piece of his childhood, and 2) his birthday coincides with it.  This year, we went to the fair on his birthday.  We decided to make this day the big family day.  You know, go all out.  We ran through a lot of animal barns, bought fair food (cotton candy, Lerch’s donuts, gyros, corn dogs, ice cream…)  And for the first time, we bought the girls bracelets for unlimited rides.  They loved it!  So, here are some of the rides:

One they had both done before – the Apple Worm, the carousel, the Batmobile, and the ferris wheel

IMG_1770     IMG_1784IMG_1779IMG_1765    IMG_1769

A few Ellie joined Madison for this year – Jet skis, motorcycles, and the Dragon Wagon (big sis showed lil sis how to buckle up!)

IMG_1740 IMG_1754IMG_1757     IMG_1758

And some that were new to both of them – the frog hopper (super awesome!), the big slide (no pictures – both girls said it was too fast and they were crying when they got off), the kangaroo (so weird… are they in the kangaroo pouch like a joey??)

IMG_1744     IMG_1782

Madison’s highlight was seeing a piece of her kindergarten artwork hanging up…. with a blue ribbon!  (Hers is the one in the background with the green border – it is very bright!)  She wanted to visit that building multiple time.  Thank you, Art Teachers, for taking time to hang the children’s artwork.  It is worth it!

IMG_1780

We also, for the first time, visited the 4-H horse stables.  Extended family of Jeremy’s had a horse that they rode for several events.  The girls sat on Skeeter and got to feed him some hay as well. 

IMG_1737     IMG_1738

On day two, we did not go all out, but somehow we were still there all day – and we still had a lot of fun!  We started off by watching some of our SYF members in the bands.

IMG_1786     IMG_1788

Then, we jumped on another Ferris wheel ride.  It was my turn this time.  I am not so sure I still like the Ferris wheel.  I felt like I couldn’t breathe or I would tip out of it.  I tried to be brave … with some success. 

IMG_1792     IMG_1789

IMG_1794

Then, we looked at the artwork again.  We picked up some swag from the Bookmobile and colored a bit.  We made two magnetic crafts.  We watched some of the Draft Horse judging, saw Abe’s purple tractor, checked out the giant vegetable barn, and picked up some kettle corn. 

IMG_1796     IMG_1818IMG_1813     IMG_1817

We checked out how Lilli’s goat (Sparky) was doing. We pretended to walk and milk a cow.

IMG_1739  IMG_1797  IMG_1798

The girls had wanted to do the fun house the first day, but it costs an additional two dollars.  So, I told them if they wanted to do it, they had to bring their own money.  They decided that would be worth it.  And we did the fun house.

IMG_1810     IMG_1812

We also had enough tickets to chose one more ride.  They both went for one more spin on the Dragon Wagon. 

IMG_1804

It was an exhausting day, following an exhausting day.

IMG_1820

We are still recovering!